I am looking out the bus window playing
River by Joni Mitchell. It is snowing there,
you sent me pictures of cobblestoned streets,
of you and your lover, four degrees cold, you
say. Meanwhile the trees are green as ever here
in my country. The children chase the chickens
and the sun trails off behind them. A mother
is picking green mangoes from the trees and
the men are drinking rice wine by the road.
The river runs smoothly, slowly painting the dry
rocks, while the stray dogs are swimming with
the catfish. The farmers are resting in their huts
beside the sleeping water buffalos. But it don’t snow
here, Joni sings, it stays pretty green. What do I know
of winter? I ask the rice fields of my country,
of snow? I only know of birds and trees and wishful
thinking. I know only of cold. I wish it snows here.
I wish you are here. In the prairies beside me lying
in the lush dry grass, laughing, and it is summer.